Thursday, July 8, 2010

"It Keeps Me Turning Home..."

It is amazing how smells can take you back to another place… Today, I was walking out of the office and a diesel truck drove past. Its smutty exhaust attacked my olfactory sense and I was transported back to the farm. It brought me back to one particular day when I was doing my “girl’s work” of leveling out peanut wagons.

Our old tractors were creeping by pulling peanut pickers, my brother Wesley was “setting” wagons and I was sweating like a mule, thigh deep in peanuts with a shovel. Trying to convince myself that there were no snakes in the trailer with me.

Not a very glamorous memory—but a good memory none the less.

I love farm life--and farm memories!

You see, to call our farm a peanut “operation” might be a stretch. Yes we farm. We have peanuts. We “operate” tractors. But in my mind—operation sounds HUGE—and at the time we were still using two-row peanut pickers.

But the great thing about memories is size doesn’t matter. I can still see, clear as day, those tractors and Lilliston pickers creeping their way down the row from the top of that peanut wagon. It’s a good memory—it’s helped me through many hard times. Remembering my family and our way of life has kept me grounded throughout all my adventures. Remembering the long hours my grandpa and uncle put in on the farm makes me appreciate the life I live as well as the food I eat.

But enough reminiscing.

I had another moment of transportation last week—this time I actually went somewhere: home!

I spent the holiday weekend with my family: cooking out, eating, going to movies, eating, singing around the piano, eating, playing with the baby… and did I mention eating?

It's not a family get together with out Bluebell Ice Cream!

Holidays around my house ALWAYS include massive amounts of food. What can I say—EVERYONE in my family knows how to cook! (Well—my skills are questionable) So we spent the weekend enjoying good meals and lots of friends and family at the house.

My uber-cool niece

I also spent my weekend checking out the crops. I was impressed to see how great my fiancé’s dry land cotton looked as well as the peanuts. However the corn—was not what I expected. I guess I forgot that North Florida/Lower Alabama aren’t exactly part of the Corn Belt—and it showed. The lack of rain on our sandy soil had really taken its toll. Overall though, I was thrilled to see the progress of ours and our neighbor’s peanut and cotton crops. (The beans I saw didn’t look half bad either!)

Deltapine Cotton--Florida

FL07 Peantus--Alabama

I’ve only got a few weeks of my internship here in the Midwest left—and though I enjoyed being home, I missed my STL friends… and corn—really tall, lush green corn.

I never thought I’d say that.

Until next time—keep it between the ditches

PS--If you haven't heard the new song by David Nail, "Turning Home" you should check it out!

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